Without explicitly stating it, Zynga gave Pierce an ultimatum. The megalith developer all but forced the designer to choose between his pride and joy, Connectrode (pictured), and a well-paying job in the games industry. The former is an iPhone puzzler that the designer created and release in dedication to his wife, Laura. In fact, Connectrode displays that dedication when players first launch the game--his wife's version of the game shows it every time.
"'I hope they don't make me choose between Connectrode and a job,' I told my wife Laura,'" Pierce wrote on Gamasutra. "'I really hope that they don't turn it into that choice.'" Ultimately, his love for his own creation and what it meant to him was enough for Pierce to turn down the job offer from Zynga as part of the buyout. (Again, Zynga didn't explicitly force Pierce to give up his game, but he feared a potential conflict of interest that would result in him having to take down Connectrode.) But this was a matter of good and evil, too, according to Pierce.
"When an entity exists in an ecosystem, and acts within that ecosystem in a way that is short-sighted, behaving in a way that is actively destructive to the healthy functioning of that ecosystem and the other entities in it (including, in the long term, themselves) -- yes, I believe that that is evil," Pierce wrote. "And I believe that Zynga does exactly that." We strongly recommend you read Pierce's piece in full right here.
Are you surprised that someone would turn down Zynga like this? Would you do the same in this situation? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.